from SAMBULO DLAMINI in Mbabane, Eswatini
MBABANE, (CAJ News) – AT least 88 people have been killed and 46 committed suicide over the past three months as the violence in Eswatini escalates and the crisis takes a toll on people’s mental health.
Acting Prime Minister, Themba Masuku, disclosed the figures as he addressed media at Cabinet offices in the capital Mbabane on Wednesday.
According to the statistics, around 30 people are killed per month and 15 commit suicide.
Maseko also reported the government’s concern over the killing of citizens in mob justice incidents.
This week, four citizens were murdered in an unprecedented case of mob justice at Nkonka in the Shiselweni region in the south.
“This comes in the wake of the sporadic killings of ordinary & well-known citizens in different incidents in the recent past,” Maseko lamented.
“Government condemns these killings. No one has a right to take another person’s life, no matter the motive,” he added.
“It is on that premise that Government appeals to emaSwati to find amicable ways of resolving their differences, other than killing each other.”
Maseko said government is also concerned about the rate of suicides prevailing in the country.
“This is an indication of a serious mental health challenge faced by our society,” the Acting premier said.
He encouraged emaSwati to get help if they suspect they may be falling into depression.
Government offers mental healthcare services free of charge.
“We do also encourage family members to regularly check on each other so that we can promptly detect when our loved ones show even the remotest signs of depression,” Maseko advised.
Eswatini, formerly Swaziland, plunged into civil disorder in 2021 after protests by local against repression by forces and reluctance by King Mswati III’a dministration to effect democratic reforms.
The situation has spiraled into arson attacks and running battles between security forces and perpetrators.
– CAJ News